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Taylor Swift

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Taylor Swift Delivers Speech Celebrating Pride Month At Chicago Concert

The GRAMMY winner offers words of support to the LGBTQ community during the closing night of the first leg of her Reputation Tour

GRAMMYs/Jun 4, 2018 - 07:18 pm

Taylor Swift kicked off Pride Month with an inspired speech during her June 2 Chicago concert, offering support and encouragement to the LGBTQ community.

“It’s very brave to be vulnerable about your feelings in any situation, but it’s even more brave to be honest about your feelings and who you love when you know that it might be met with adversity from society,” Swift said during a break between songs, according to Billboard. "This month and every month I want to send my love and respect to everybody who has been brave enough to be honest about how they feel, to live their lives as they are, as they feel they should be, as they identify.”

With Pride Month underway, Swift took the opportunity to celebrate of the progress made in the continuing struggle for equality, but also pointed out there is more work to be done.

“This is a month where I think we need to celebrate how far we’ve come, but I think we also need to acknowledge how far we have left to go," Swift said. "I want to send my love and respect to everybody who hasn’t felt comfortable enough to come out yet ... and may you do that on your own time and may we end up in a world where everyone can live and love equally and no one has to be afraid to all say how they feel.”

June is celebrated as Pride Month across the country, with major events planned in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Anchorage, Alaska, Boston and Chicago. Many of the Pride Month celebrations commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City on June 28, 1969, when demonstrators fought back against the rising number of police raids on bars catering to LGBT patrons, a significant event in the movement for LGBT equality, according to GLAAD.

Swift delivered the speech at Chicago's Soldier Field on the final night of the first leg of her Reputation Tour, which commenced on May 8 in Glendale, Ariz., and is one of the hottest tour tickets this summer. Swift now heads across the pond for six dates in the U.K. before returning to the U.S. for the second leg of the North American tour, which runs from June 30 in Louisville, Ky., and wraps up Oct. 6 in Arlington, Texas.

Ticket availability and information for Swift's Reputation Tour can be accessed via Ticketmaster. A list of Pride Month events across the country can be found here.

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Taylor Swift performing in Kansas City in 2023
Taylor Swift performs on night one of the Eras Tour in Kansas City, Missouri in July 2023.

Photo: John Shearer/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

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Taylor Swift, The 'Tortured Poet': 6 Times She's Used Poetry In Her Work

As Taylor Swift prepares for her next era with 'The Tortured Poets Department,' take a look at some of the ways the pop superstar has displayed her love for poetry in her songwriting, tours and more.

GRAMMYs/Apr 15, 2024 - 07:22 pm

With an ability to write songs that are as timeless as they are universal, Taylor Swift has often been described as the most impressive songwriter of her generation. The pop star's authentic lyrics and knack for storytelling has had fans invested from the start of her career, picking apart each line to better understand them. What is largely overlooked, though, are the poetic tools Swift channels to better understand herself.

From turning short stanzas into songs to categorizing tracks as "quill" or "fountain pen," Swift deftly incorporates her love of poetry and writing into her work. And now, she's conceptualizing an entire album around it.

Swift's aptly titled eleventh album, The Tortured Poets Department, sees the singer/songwriter as the Chairman of the Department who, upon announcing the album, declared "All's fair in love and poetry." Following the release of Midnights, she began working on the record and has since said it was a "lifeline" album — and that she never had a project where she needed songwriting more.

Before The Tortured Poets Department arrives on April 19, GRAMMY.com explores how Swift has incorporated poetry into her career and used it to level her songwriting.

Honoring Poets In Her Work

Much like how her fans find comfort in her work, Swift uses poetry as a main source of comfort and inspiration. Swift begins her album prologue for 2012's Red by quoting the poem "Tonight I Write the Saddest Lines" by Neruda, one she's said has always captivated her. 

The line reads, "Love is so short, forgetting is so long." It sets the theme for the entire Red album, with Swift stating that she relates to the line in her "saddest moments" when she "needed to know someone else had felt the exact same way." It clearly made an impression on her: during the release of Red (Taylor's Version) almost a decade later, she'd quote the line again at the beginning of "All Too Well: The Short Film."

When speaking with NPR about the poem, Swift said that her favorite writers — whether they be poets or authors — have "musical hooks" in their work and have the ability to write about things in a universal, relatable and simple way. "The Lakes," a deluxe track featured on folklore, directly references The Lake Poets, who called the idyllic Lake District in England home. Specifically, the track gives a nod to Romantic poet William Wordsworth: "Take me to the lakes where all the poets went to die/ I don't belong, and my beloved, neither do you [...]/ I've come too far to watch some name-dropping sleaze/ Tell me what are my words worth." 

Compartmentalizing Her Songwriting

During her acceptance speech for NSAI's Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award in 2022, Swift mentioned the "dorky" way she compartmentalizes songwriting into three categories: "quill," "fountain pen" and "glitter gel." Fun, upbeat songs that don't take themselves too seriously fall under the "glitter gel" category; "fountain pen" lyrics reference modern storylines with a "poetic twist." 

"Quill" lyrics, however, are the ones that weave Swift's poeticism directly into her songs. During the speech, she describes writing them using antiquated words, almost as if she was "inspired to write it after reading Charlotte Brontë or after watching a movie where everyone is wearing poet shirts and corsets." Particularly, she notes evermore's "ivy" as a "quill" track, reciting the lyrics, "How's one to know/ I'd meet you where the spirit meets the bones/ In a faith forgotten land."

Using Poems To Communicate During A Media Blackout

Following the hysteria post-1989 that catalyzed 2017's reputation, Swift leaned into the album's ethos — "There will be no further explanation, there will just be reputation" — Swift avoided most, if not all, interviews during the press campaign. Instead, she opted to use poetry as a form of communication. 

In place of an interview, she submitted a poem to British Vogue to accompany her cover shoot. The poem "The Trick to Holding On" was seemingly written at the tail end of that aforementioned media scrutiny, seeing Swift exploring themes around healing and acceptance, writing, "Let go of the ones who hurt you/ Let go of the ones you outgrow" and "Suddenly you'll know/ The trick to holding on/ Was all that letting go."

As part of the album launch, Swift released accompanying magazines with two different poems titled "If You're Anything Like Me" and "Why She Disappeared," both written by her. In "If You're Anything Like Me," Swift picks apart her own flaws and failings while touching on the aftermath of the scrutiny she experienced ("Each new enemy turns to steel/ They become the bars that confine you/ In your own little golden prison cell"). It ends with Swift recognizing her growth and finding peace: "If you're anything like me, I'm sorry/ But Darling, it's going to be okay."

Reciting Poetry On Tour

On her two most recent tours, Swift has integrated poetry into parts of her sets. Before Swift performed "Getaway Car" during the reputation stadium tour, she recited her poem "Why She Disappeared." Much like "If You're Anything Like Me," the poem explores her tarnished reputation and uses illeism to show the distance she feels from those events. In the poem, she says, "Without your past/ You could never have arrived so wondrously and brutally/ By design or some violent, exquisite happenstance/...here," distinguishing her past self from her present self.

As Swift took a journey through her discography on her Eras Tour, she began the folklore set — the one that fans might describe as her most poetic — with a spoken word version of her song "seven." Alluding to her past and current eras, Swift begins the poem with the line, "If you wish to romanticize the woman I became" followed by interpolating a lyric from 1989's "Wildest Dreams," saying, "Then say you'll remember me/ Standing in a nice dress/ Staring at the sunset." She asks audiences to "begin at the beginning" by picturing her in the trees and continues to recite the first verse and chorus.

Referencing Literature

When Vogue asked Swift what subject she would teach if she was a teacher, it wasn't a surprise that she said English. Her love of literature — both modern and classic — is apparent in her lyrics. Sometimes she compares herself to literary characters, like Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby in the song "happiness," in which she sings, "I hope she'll be a beautiful fool," a direct quote from the novel. Instead of using it in its original context, which was meant to be a blessing, Swift makes it more devastating. 

Other times, she uses specific motifs as a way to express her frustrations, like using Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and its themes of "adultery" and sin in Fearless' "Love Story" ("You were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter") and in 1989 "New Romantics" ("Show off our different scarlet letters").

The concept of fate that Swift explores in "invisible string" was mentioned by English author Charlotte Brontë in Jane Eyre. The novel's "I have a strange feeling with regard to you: as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly knotted to a similar string in you" line is mirrored by Swift's lyrics, "All along there was some/ Invisible string/ Tying you to me."

In a conversation with Paul McCartney for Rolling Stone, Swift said that she read "much more" than she ever did during folklore. Specifically mentioning Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a story of an unnamed woman who marries a man who she believes is still in love with his wife. Swift found inspiration in the novel's use of flowery and "prettier" words and turned them into song names and lyrics, like "epiphany" and "elegies." Her evermore track "no body, no crime" even alludes to the same death the fictional character faces in Rebecca and "tolerate it" explores the story of a neglected wife and a loveless husband.

Since Swift loves using songwriting and storytelling as a form of escape, it makes sense that she'd also use whimsical children's fairy tales as inspiration. Alice in Wonderland might be the most obvious reference she's used for 1989's "Wonderland," using allusions to falling down a rabbit hole and Cheshire cat grins as a way to explain the frantic and fragile relationship she was experiencing. In "cardigan," Swift puts herself in the shoes of Wendy in Peter Pan to explain her frustrations with the immature and gallless Peter ("I knew you/ Tried to change the ending/ Peter losing Wendy").

Incorporating Poetry Into Songs

Many of Swift's songs began as poems. In conversation with Scholastic in 2014, Swift spoke with students about the books she loved growing up, discussing how journaling helped simplify her feelings which would eventually lead her to discovering her love of poetry. She mentions that "This Love" from 1989 was initially a quick and spontaneous poem she wrote in her journal which read "This love is good/ This love is bad/ This love is alive back from the dead/ These hands had to let it go free and/ This love came back to me." Shortly after, a melody came to mind and she developed the poem into a song.

On Lover, fans found that the penultimate track "It's Nice To Have A Friend" reminded them of a poem. Speaking to Billboard upon the album's release, Swift said the song is more of a poem filled with metaphors with double meanings. "It's Nice To Have A Friend" follows a typical poetic beat — specifically an iambic trimeter — where Swift emphasizes certain syllables to create six syllables per line. 

On her 2022 album, Midnights, Swift directly mentions writing poetry on the love song "Sweet Nothing," penning the lyric, "On the way home/ I wrote a poem/ You say, 'What a mind'/ This happens all the time." Although the themes of pressure and media scrutiny of the reputation poems still appear in her later work, this poetic-sounding track speaks more to a simple gratitude than anything else. 

In late 2023, Swift liked a tweet connecting the lyric to a quote from Paul McCartney about his late wife Linda McCartney, which reads, "I would come back from a run with a poem to share and having listened, Linda would say 'what a mind.'" Whether it's about Paul and Linda or Swift's personal life, poetry helps uncover new ways to inspire her.

As the next chapter in Swift's musical universe begins with the arrival of The Tortured Poet Department, it's clear her love for storytelling is ever-evolving — just like her love for poetry.

All Things Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour"

Photo: Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

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Get Ready For Taylor Swift's ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Album Release: Everything You Need To Know

As we count down to Taylor Swift's 11th studio album release on April 19, feast on all the morsels GRAMMY.com has gathered about the Queen of Pop's upcoming "tortured poet" era.

GRAMMYs/Apr 12, 2024 - 03:19 pm

The dawn of Taylor Swift's "tortured poet" era is upon us. The reigning Queen of Pop is set to release her highly anticipated 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, on Friday, April 19. 

Ever since she announced the new album during the 2024 GRAMMYs — while accepting her lucky 13th GRAMMY Award for Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights —- Swifties have been meticulously analyzing every detail of her existence for clues about the release of The Tortured Poets Department.

Fortunately, Swift has been serving a lot of information to snack on. After revealing the cover art in an Instagram post before accepting her record breaking fourth win for Album Of The Year, she didn't stop the feast. From the full track list to a five-stage breakup playlist — and, of course, all the bonus tracks and special editions — here's all the breadcrumbs GRAMMY.com collected in preparation for The Tortured Poets Department

All The Art Is Black And White

The cover art for The Tortured Poets Department displays a black-and-white inset photo of Swift in repose on a stack of white pillows, with the album's title in uppercase white letters above her. The photography accompanying the album, including back covers and special editions, captures Swift in reflective solitude: standing before a body of water wearing an oversized white button-up, and in a pensive self-embrace against a stark black backdrop.

The photography for the album was shot by Swift's photographer since 2020, Beth Garrabrant, who also shot the covers of Swift's folklore, evermore, Fearless (Taylor's Version), Red (Taylor's Version), Midnights, Speak Now (Taylor's Version), 1989 (Taylor's Version). She's known for using a medium-format film photography that evokes an emotional closeness to her subjects — especially fitting for an album titled The Tortured Poets Department.

The Album Features Two Notable Collaborations

On GRAMMY night, alongside the album announcement, Swift posted the complete track list on her Instagram. The post included a photo of the album's back cover, showing a close-up of Swift with her hand on her forehead, overlaid with the text "I love you, it's ruining my life" in all-caps. 

The 16-track release has been split into four sides and also features collaborations with Post Malone on Side A opener "Fortnight" as well as Florence + The Machine on Side B's "Florida!!!" 

Check out the full track list:

**Side A**
“Fortnight” (feat. Post Malone)
“The Tortured Poets Department”
“My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys”
“Down Bad”

**Side B**
“So Long, London”
“But Daddy I Love Him”
“Fresh Out the Slammer”
“Florida!!!” (feat. Florence + the Machine)

**Side C**
“Guilty As Sin?”
“Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”
“I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)”
“loml”

**Side D**
“I Can Do It With a Broken Heart”
“The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived”
“The Alchemy”
“Clara Bow”


Bonus Tracks:

“The Manuscript”

“The Black Dog”

"The Albatross"

The Album Title Hints At Another Ex 

Mere moments after Swift dropped The Tortured Poets Department album name, the internet was ablaze with viral speculation that the title is derived from a play on ex Joe Alwyn's group chat, "The Tortured Man Club" with Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott. 

Alwyn and Mescal revealed their "club name" during an interview with Variety in December 2022 and it didn't take long for fans to connect the dots. Upon unearthing the tie-in, Swifties rushed to share memes and comment on the original interview across various social channels.

There Are Three Bonus Tracks (So Far)

Swift has revealed at least three bonus tracks for different editions of the album, each marked with its own "file name." The initial track list release, referred to as "The Manuscript," includes a bonus track sharing this name.  

On Feb. 23, Swift posted a slideshow on Instagram to promote a special edition named "The Albatross." It featured the bonus tracks and revealed the back cover, which presented a track list alongside a contemplative close-up of Swift overlaid with the question, "Am I allowed to cry?" 

Then, on March 3, she introduced the bonus track “The Black Dog” through a similar post that showcased new cover art, with the album's reverse side portraying Swift and the haunting text, "Old habits die screaming." 

Lyrics Have Already Been Shared

Unlike her previous album campaigns, Swift hasn't unveiled any music ahead of The Tortured Poets Department’s release — but she has dropped plenty of hints at the subject matter to come. Handwritten lyrics first appeared in the album announcement post, in a stack of papers inside a folder tabbed with a monogram of the album's name.

"And so I enter into evidence/ My tarnished coat of arms/ My muses, acquired like bruises/ My talismans and charms/ The tick, tick, tick of love bombs/ My veins of pitch black ink," is written above the sign-off, "All's fair in love and poetry… Sincerely, The Chairman of The Tortured Poets Department."

Then, in an Instagram story posted on April 8 — the date of the total solar eclipse — Swift shared an image of a typewriter loaded with a sheet of paper stamped with the words, "Crowd goes wild at her fingertips/ Half moonshine, Full eclipse." 

Swift Created Five Playlists To Mirror The Stages Of A Breakup

Gearing up for the release, Swift dropped a 5-part playlist series on Apple Music on April 5 featuring previously released work arranged in playlists that reflect the five stages of grief. The playlist for "Denial: I Love You, It’s Ruining My Life Songs," features hits including Midnight's "Lavender Haze," and Lover's "Cruel Summer" and "False God." 

The other playlists run through the emotional gamut with titles like "Anger: You Don’t Get to Tell Me About Sad Songs," the midpoint "Bargaining: Am I Allowed to Cry? Songs," "Depression: Old Habits Die Screaming Songs," and finally "Acceptance: I Can Do It With a Broken Heart Songs." Each one takes listeners on a Taylor Swift escapade through love won and lost, representing what many believe to be a musical voyage through Swift's stages of grief following the end of her relationship with ex Joe Alwyn. 

Each playlist also includes a description from Swift. For "Denial," it says, "This is a list of songs about getting so caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags, possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a little bit of delusion. Results may vary.”

As April 19 nears closer, take a deep dive into everything Swift has unleashed so far — and get ready for a lot more divulging once The Tortured Poets Department arrives.

All Things Taylor Swift

(Clockwise from top left): Metro Boomin, Taylor Swift, Bryson Tiller, Sinkane, St. Vincent, Tori Kelly, Future, TXT
(Clockwise from top left): Metro Boomin, Taylor Swift, Bryson Tiller, Sinkane, St. Vincent, Tori Kelly, Future, TXT

Photos: Taylor Hill/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Joseph Okpako/WireImage; Chloe Morales-Pazant; Mike Coppola/WireImage; Sasha-Samsonova; Prince Williams/WireImage; Peter White/Getty Images

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15 Must-Hear Albums In April 2024: Taylor Swift, Vampire Weekend, St. Vincent & More

April promises to shower listeners with heavy-hitting hip-hop, pop, country and rock releases. From Metro Boomin and Future's upcoming collab, to TOMORROW x TOGETHER's new minisode, get your April 2024 playlist ready with 15 exciting new releases.

GRAMMYs/Apr 1, 2024 - 01:24 pm

This year, April brings more than just showers to beget May flowers. Instead, there must be something in the stars: In the fourth month of 2024, four artists are releasing their fourth studio albums. These are pop-rock band X Ambassadors’ Townie, R&B singer Bryson Tiller’s Bryson Tiller, rapper PartyNextDoor’s P4, and Irish rockers Picture This’ Parked Car Conversations.

Numerology aside, April will also contemplate exciting new works from pop masters Taylor Swift, whose The Tortured Poets Department drops mid-month, and St. Vincent’s All Born Screaming, country star ERNEST’s Nashville, Tennessee, jazz master Kenny Garrett and electronic producer Svoy’s What Killed AI?, and — allegedly — the second part of Future and Metro Boomin’s first joint-effort, We Don’t Trust You.

There’s music for all tastes ready to fill your playlists for the rest of the year. Read on for 15 of the most exciting albums dropping in April 2024.

TOMORROW X TOGETHER - minisode 3: TOMORROW 

Release date: April 1

Luckily, fans of the K-pop quintet TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT) rarely have to wait for new music. Six months after releasing their third studio album, The Name Chapter: Freefall, the group is gearing up to release minisode 3: TOMORROW.

The seven-song EP is fronted by upcoming lead single "Deja Vu," which is said to mix trap, rage, and emo rock into their signature emotional intensity, as per a press release. The other tracks continue to expand the group’s versatility, experimenting with pop rock, house, and acoustic guitars. 

As usual, the concept of the album is connected to TXT’s overarching lore, and features several references to their past works — track "- --- -- --- ·-· ·-· --- ·–," for example, evokes their debut era where Morse Code was used in teasers and in the single "Crown."

TXT will embark on their Act: Promise World Tour starting May 3-5 in Seoul, South Korea, and then head to the U.S. for 11 shows across the country, including two dates at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Conan Gray - Found Heaven

Release date: April 5

Gen Z popstar Conan Gray has Found Heaven. After 2022’s Superache, his upcoming third album was co-produced by legendaries Max Martin, Greg Kurstin, and Shawn Everett, among others.

Gray had been teasing the 13-track record since last year with a slew of buoyant, '80s-tinged singles ("Never Ending Song," "Killing Me" and "Lonely Dancers") and poignant, Elton John-esque ballads ("Winner," "Alley Rose"). "When I was making the album, I was really obsessively listening to music of that era," he explained to NME. "I think also, because it was a deeply emotional time, I was almost hiding from reality. I didn’t listen to a song from the 2020s during the making of this album."

To celebrate this new, holy era, Gray will be touring Australia in July, North America in September and October, and Europe and the UK in November. "I want people to know that I was having fun and goofing around, and I want you to smile and I want you to feel like you can just be yourself," he added. "I just want the album to be a reminder to people that you can be so many things all at once."

Sinkane - We Belong 

Release date: April 5

Ahmed Gallab, the Sudanese American multi-instrumentalist behind Sinkane, has built his discography resisting musical genres. We Belong, his upcoming eighth studio album, is no different: it combines pop, funk, electronic, afrobeats, disco, and more into "a love letter to Black music," per a press release.

Sinkane’s first album since 2019’s Dépaysé, We Belong features 10 tracks and participations by Bilal, Money Mark, STOUT, and others. Each song tells the story of a different era in Black music and history, laced with love and hope for the future: the disco groove of "Come Together," the gospel choirs of "Everything Is Everything," the funky bassline of "How Sweet is Your Love."

Along with live band the Message, Sinkane has announced a select 10-city tour in the U.S., starting May 3 in New York City and wrapping up on June 9 in Pioneertown, California.

X Ambassadors - Townie

Release date: April 5

**Pop rock trio X Ambassadors dive deep into nostalgia for Townie, their fourth studio album. The record was inspired by their experience of growing up in the small city of Ithaca, New York, and how it shaped who they are.**

"As a grown man, I’ve fallen back in love with upstate NY, and I oddly feel blessed to have had something to rally so hard against/fight to escape from as a kid," vocalist Sam Harris said in a statement. "No Strings," the first single off the project, is an anthem for that restless feeling, and anchors their concept in a haunting, propulsive melody. "Your Town" and "Half-Life" continue the journey, although taking more melancholy tones.

X Ambassadors first set off their Townie tour in Europe and the UK during February and March. On the day of the release, they will begin the North American leg of the tour in Vancouver, Canada.

Vampire Weekend - Only God Was Above Us 

Release date: April 5

Five years after releasing their latest record, 2019’s Father of the Bride, indie band Vampire Weekend will drop their fifth studio album, Only God Was Above Us.

According to a press release, frontman Ezra Koenig wrote most of the songs in 2019-2020, and spent the last five years refining them with bandmates Chris Baio and Chris Tomson. The result is a collection of 10 "direct yet complex" tracks, "showing the band at once at its grittiest, and also at its most beautiful and melodic," as seen in singles "CAprilicorn," "Gen-X Cops," and "Classical."

In addition to a sold out performance in Austin, Texas that will coincide with the total eclipse on April 8 and a headline show at Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, Vampire Weekend has announced an extensive North American tour throughout summer and fall.

Bryson Tiller - Bryson Tiller

Release date: April 5

Grab your tickets to Bryson Tiller’s upcoming tour while you can: he might go on a hiatus right after. That’s what the R&B singer and rapper told Complex, alleging that his number one passion is actually video games. "I've been designing a game for the past three years; been looking into internships for different companies. That's what I want to prioritize after this album comes out."

The album Tiller refers to is his eponymous fourth LP, a 19-track collection that includes a feature by Victoria Monét, and is described as "seamlessly blending R&B, dancehall, pop, drill, trapsoul, neo-soul, and hip hop" in a press release. "Bryson Tiller is not just an album; it's a declaration of artistic independence and a tribute to the relentless pursuit of greatness."

The project’s three alluring singles ("Outside," "Whatever She Wants," and "CALYPSO") exemplify how Tiller pushed the boundaries of R&B even more, and solidified his identity as one of music’s most singular artists. "My No. 1 goal with this album is just for everybody on Earth to hear it one time," Tiller also told Complex. "My guarantee is that they'll love [at least] one song."

Tori Kelly - TORI.

Release date: April 5

"You think you know who Tori Kelly is, but this album will prove that maybe you didn’t," said the YouTube-star-turned-singer in a NME interview about her fifth studio album, TORI. "I feel like I’m stepping into my power and owning my craft."

Her first LP since 2020’s A Tori Kelly Christmas, TORI. took inspiration from '90s and early aughts R&B and pop, as heard on singles "Missin U" and "Cut." "I was trying to create this world of nostalgia, but also there’s that balance with [TORI.] feeling fresh and new," she said. Comprising 15 tracks, it also includes participations by Ayra Starr in "Unbelievable," LE SSERAFIM’s Kim Chae-won on "Spruce," and Jon Bellion — who co-wrote and produced the album — on "Young Gun."

During the creation process, Kelly told Bellion that her guidelines were to be able to "belt out [songs] in the car" and "dance" to them, like one can do in the powerful "High Water." As far as it goes, it looks like they accomplished their mission.

Kelly will kick off her Purple Skies North American tour on April 12 in Ventura, California, and conclude it on May 3 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Future & Metro Boomin - TBA / We Still Don’t Trust You 

Release date: April 12

Rap titans Future and Metro Boomin have been personal friends and work peers for over a decade, but their first collaborative album is only coming out now. We Don’t Trust You, the first installment of a double album, dropped on March 22, while the second part — titled yet to be announced — is slated to release on April 12.

In We Don’t Trust You, the duo showcased their flawless chemistry with grandiose tracks, haunting trap beats, and star-studded features, such as "Like That" with Kendrick Lamar, "Young Metro" with The Weeknd, and "Type S—" with Travis Scott and Playboi Carti. As Metro defined in an interview with Complex, "it’s the classic Future and Metro, but just updated."

So far, no further details have been shared about the second album, but expectations remain high for the duo to outdo the first effort.

girl in red - I'M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!

Release date: April 12

"I wanted to sincerely apologize for the events that happened directly after the release of my second album, I'M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!" prefaced Norwegian singer girl in red — real name Marie Ulven — on a solemn social media video last month. But while viewers caught their breaths, she revealed it was all a witty joke: the album will only come out on Aprilil 12.

"This is a big year for me. 2024 is, like, my year," she added in the video. I'M DOING IT AGAIN BABY! follows Ulven’s 2021 debut If I Could Make It Go Quiet, but feels "more fun and more playful, and a little bit more confident," as she told Billboard. Lead track "Too Much" brings that novelty heads on, while singles "Doing It Again Baby" and "You Need Me Now?" with Sabrina Carpenter prove that Ulven’s powerful pop is only getting better.

Ulven will kick off her Doing It Again tour from April 16-June 2 in North America, and from Aug.27-Oct. 5 in Europe.

Kenny Garrett & Svoy - Who Killed AI?  

Release date: April 12

For his first electronic foray, NEA Jazz Master and GRAMMY-winning saxophonist Kenny Garrett enlisted the acclaimed producer-musician Svoy. The result is Who Killed AI?, a seven-track daring exploration of jazz and pop culture.

"The first two songs are really reminiscent of Miles [Davis]," Garrett shared in a statement. "The way I’m stretching the melody — that’s how I played with Miles." The opener and lead single "Ascendence" is a strong preview of what’s to come: distorted synths and drum and bass beats fused with Garrett’s fun and brilliant lines, a compelling portrait of what the future of music can be.

Later in the year, Garrett plans to take the album on a live tour. "I think my fans will find this interesting," Garrett shared in a statement. "Some people forget that my teacher was Miles Davis. So for me, it’s not that I have to do something different. It is just something that I do. All you have to do is present the music and let them take the journey." 

ERNEST - Nashville, Tennessee 

Release date: April 12

Early in March, singer/songwriter ERNEST announced on social media that he would be running for mayor in order to "legalize country music." Of course, fans started to get their hopes up for new music — and they were right. The plot was just part of his promotion for the newly announced Nashville, Tennessee, out April 12.

A tour de force with 26 tracks, the record features a bevy of guest stars: from Jelly Roll ("I Went To College, I Went To Jail"), to Lainey Wilson ("Would If I Could"), and ERNEST's two-year-old son, Ryman Saint. It also includes a bluegrass cover of Radiohead’s "Creep" with HARDY, and a cover of John Mayer’s "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room."

In addition to "I Went To College, I Went To Jail," four other advance tracks have been shared: "Why Dallas" with Lukas Nelson, "Ain’t As Easy," "Ain’t Too Late," and "How’d We Get Here."

Taylor Swift - The Tortured Poets Department 

Release date: April 19

On the same night that she won her  lucky 13th GRAMMY for Best Pop Vocal Album with 2022’s Midnights, Taylor Swift also announced her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department. Coming out April 19, the record will feature 16 tracks and collaborations by Florence + the Machine on "Florida!!!" and Post Malone on "Fortnight."

"I needed to make it, it was really a lifeline for me, it sort of reminded me why songwriting gets me through life," Swift said during her The Eras Tour show in Melbourne. "I've never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets."

Along with the statement, Swift also shared an alternate cover for the physical album, titled after and including bonus track "The Bolter." Later on, three other versions named "The Manuscript," "The Albatross," and "The Black Dog" — all including an eponymous bonus track —  were also made available for purchase.

For the rest of the year, Swift will be touring through Europe and North America. As usual with the singer, more surprises are likely to come soon.

PartyNextDoor - PartyNextDoor 4 (P4)

Release date: April 26

**Canadian hitmaker and singer PartyNextDoor will make his long-awaited return this month. PartyNextDoor 4, also dubbed P4, is his first full-length work since 2020’s Partymobile, and continues his eponymous albums series after 2016’s P3.**

"This is the hardest I’ve ever worked on an album. This is the proudest I’ve felt," Party told Billboard for his March cover story. "I’m excited to grind even more for the next [one]. I’m in love with how hard you should work for it." 

He also explained that love is the reason why he takes so long to release new stuff. "I get into relationships and then music becomes second," he said. "I think I’m going to take a break from relationships, a long break, and just get back to making music."

In support of the release, Party shared moody, intimate singles "Resentment" and "Real Woman" — inspired by the same relationships that kept him off stage.

St. Vincent - All Born Screaming

Release date: April 26

In an interview with Mojo, St. Vincent — also known as Annie Clark — defined her upcoming seventh album, All Born Screaming, as "post-plague pop." Since its creation started right after the release of 2021’s Daddy’s Home, the years of seclusion and adjustment due to the COVID pandemic were a prominent influence in her new work.

"That kind of isolation breeds paranoia and loneliness, and loneliness can breed violence," she said. "It’s been a time of loss collectively and personally. [But] loss and death are very clarifying things, they make everything that doesn’t f—ng matter go away."

Comprising 10 tracks and features from Dave Grohl, Cate Le Bon, and Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa, All Born Screaming is St. Vincent’s first entirely self-produced set, and an attempt at showcasing what does matter. "This record is darker and harder and more close to the bone. I’d say it’s my least funny record yet. There’s nothing cute about it," she added.

Clark released two singles off the album, "Broken Man" and "Flea," and is gearing up for a North American tour starting May 22.

Picture This - Parked Car Conversations

Release date: April 26

"Parked Car Conversations is by far the most personal album we have ever created," said vocalist and lyricist Ryan Hennessy in a press release about Picture This’s upcoming album. "It is an album about everything involved with being human. Love and loss and hurt and euphoria and all of those other complex emotions that flutter in between."

The album consists of 15 songs, but a third of it can be previewed through bittersweet, soaring singles "Get On My Love," "Song To Myself," "Leftover Love," "Call It Love," and "Act Of Innocence." Overall, Parked Car Conversations is a soundtrack "not to a movie, but to life," and aims to convey "the ups and downs of living" through ballads and anthems alike, according to Hennessy. 

Coming almost three years since the Irish band’s last release, 2021’s Life in Colour, the new record will be celebrated in high spirits with an Europe and U.K. tour, starting April 21 in München, Germany.

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Taylor Swift performs in Brazil 2023
Taylor Swift performs during the Eras Tour in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Nov. 24, 2023.

Photo: Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

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The Taylor Swift Effect: 8 Ways The Eras Tour Broke Records & Shattered Sales

As the Eras Tour hits Disney+ with 'Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor's Version)', take a look at some of the mind-boggling feats the pop superstar has accomplished with her culture-shifting trek.

GRAMMYs/Mar 14, 2024 - 05:13 pm

Taylor Swift has continuously redefined what it means to be a pop superstar for almost two decades. But 2023 might have been her most defining year to date, thanks to the Eras Tour.

With 152 dates in stadiums across five continents, the Eras Tour isn't just Swift's personal biggest tour to date — it's a feat few other artists have accomplished. The sprawling 3 1/2-hour show is an impressive feat in itself, but the tour has gone on to break records and boost economies, firmly cementing Swift's stratospheric position as one of pop's all-time greats. 

There's a reason why the term "The Taylor Swift Effect" has been coined — it captures the impact Swift has had not just on music, but society as a whole. Swift's latest concert tour weaves through her 10- (and soon to be 11-) album discography, totaling a whopping 44 songs across 10 different acts for each "era." Between the allure of each set's surprise song and the next-level fan engagement, the tour has become far more than your average concert — it's a full-on cultural moment. 

Though the trek still has a bewildering nine months to go (it will hit Europe and another North America stretch from May to December), Swift is celebrating the Eras Tour's one-year anniversary by bringing its record-breaking concert film to Disney+ on March 14th. 

As fans get ready to stream Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor's Version), GRAMMY.com looks at the impact of the Eras Tour so far, exploring the records Swift has shattered since it first began.

Becoming The Highest Grossing Tour Ever

In eight months, Swift's Eras Tour did something no other artist has ever done: gross over $1 billion on a single tour. Pollstar reported the news in December 2023, stating that the 60+ shows she played in 2023 accumulated to 4.3 million tickets sold. 

This number is even more staggering when compared to Elton John's farewell tour, which lasted five years and had 328 shows and accumulated $939 million. Not only has Swift been able to do the same with 152 shows, but she still has nine months to go — and at the pace she's going, Pollstar projects that she could pass the $2 billion mark.  

Shattering Attendance Records

From breaking the all-time record for attendance during her three shows at Nashville's Nissan Stadium in May 2023 to playing the largest shows of her career at Melbourne's Cricket Ground in February 2024 (performing to 288,000 fans over three days), Swift couldn't stop breaking attendance records at various stops. Including those venues, she's broken eight attendance records at seven so far: Seattle's Lumen Field, New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, Pittsburgh's Acrisure Stadium, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and Sao Paolo's Allianz Parque (where she broke one-day and three-day attendance records).

Although her friend and collaborator Ed Sheeran already broke some of her attendance records during his own 2023 world tour, Swift has done the impossible again by creating an entirely new record to break: how many people are both inside and outside the venue. Cities like Tampa and Detroit all had "Taygating" — mass parties with thousands of fellow Swifties that include singalongs, cookouts, and trading handmade friendship bracelets like the fans inside. In Philadelphia alone, cell phone usage data in the area determined that around 57,000 fans "taygated" outside throughout the tour's three nights.

Spiking Craft Sales

Creating costumes for Taylor Swift concerts is something that fans have been doing since Swift's Fearless Tour in 2009 and 2010, but a lyric from MIdnights' "You're On Your Own Kid" created a new way for fans to engage with each other. The lyric "So make the friendship bracelets/ Take the moment and taste it" sparked a friendship bracelet frenzy, and caused a 40 percent chainwide increase in jewelry sales overall at Michaels craft stores, with locations within Eras Tour stops seeing a 300 percent sales increase in beads and jewelry categories leading up to the concert.

Since the start of the tour, Michaels has also helped Swifties create over 22,0000 bracelets in their bracelet-making classes in-store. And that simple lyric has inspired other fandoms to take part — Formula One fans are handing bracelets off to drivers before races, and British soccer players are making them to help boost team morale.

Spawning The Highest Grossing Concert Film Of All Time

When she announced that the Eras Tour concert film would be headed to the big screen, Swift opted to "bet on herself" by personally investing $10-20 million to bypass Hollywood entirely to facilitate a partnership directly with AMC. To say that bet worked would be an understatement: the Eras Tour concert movie became the highest-grossing concert film of all time, amassing $250 million in worldwide movie ticket sales. On the day it was announced, movie ticket buyers broke AMC's single-day advance ticket sales record, amassing $26 million within 24 hours.

The Eras Tour film would not only become a huge box office achievement, but would become the first concert film to ever be nominated for a Golden Globe, competing against other major box office blockbusters like Barbie and Oppenheimer.

Igniting Social Media

If fans can't physically be at the concert or "Taygate" outside the venue, they can tune in thanks to TikTok's live-streaming capabilities. Fellow fans provide streams of the entire concert for those who want to watch the gig. Although the viewer count varies, anywhere from 30k+ people can be tuning in on one stream (statistics have shown that most fans tune in for Swift's surprise songs).

Since the start of the Eras Tour, TikTok has been flooded with over 1.9 million videos, with Variety reporting that Taylor-related content can average around 380 million views per day and no day falling below 200 million views. Swift took note of some of the fan-fronted trends, too, including the viral "Bejeweled" dance, created by fan Mikael Arellano, as part of her choreography on tour.

Read More: Behind The Scenes Of The Eras Tour: Taylor Swift's Opening Acts Unveil The Magic Of The Sensational Concert

Boosting The Economy

Every weekend, cities that hosted the Eras Tour awarded Swift with something special — Nashville placed a bench in Centennial Park as a nod to a lyric in "Invisible String," Santa Clara made her an honorary mayor, Minneapolis renamed the city 'Swiftie-apolis,' and Rio de Janeiro projected Swift's junior jewels shirt from the "You Belong With Me" onto Christ the Redeemer. No matter how the cities honored Swift, her visit was certainly beneficial for their local economies — one stop of the Eras Tour averaged around $1,300 spending per person on travel, hotels, food, and merchandise. 

The U.S. Travel Association likened it to the Super Bowl, but happening 53 times across 20 cities, estimating the economic impact to be around $10 billion by the time the tour wraps. It's a tour that has single-handedly changing travel, according to CNN, with fans choosing their travel based on where they can get tickets. And since money talks, politicians and world leaders — from Canada's Prime Minister to the Chilean President — have come out in spades to beg for Swift to add their countries to the worldwide tour. 

Breaking Niche Records

Two nights in Seattle resulted in a "Swift Quake" after so many fans danced to "Shake It Off," which caused seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake. Seismologist Jackie Caplan-Auerbach collected 10 hours of data — from the music to the speakers to the dancing — to see how that energy can impact the ground enough to shake it.

Although not an official record, within the Swiftie community, fans have had battles to see which city can have the longest-standing ovation after "champagne problems," as detailed on Reddit and Billboard. Right now, Swift's penultimate Los Angeles show at SoFi Stadium is the winner, clocking in at 8 minutes.

Elevating Swift's Discography

After the start of a tour, it's natural for artists to see their discography have a short influx of listeners and then taper off again. But after the first 10 weeks of the Eras Tour, Swift's catalogue was growing more and more with every stop — up to 79 percent more than where she was before the tour began. And instead of listeners streaming specific singles or albums, the streamers were all over Swift's set list; Billboard reported that 23 of the 42 songs performed have doubled in weekly streams. 

The tour even helped the resounding fan favorite from 2019's Lover, "Cruel Summer," transform from beloved deep cut to chart topper. Streams of "Cruel Summer" went up 304 percent, resulting in the track becoming both her 10th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and her sole longest-leading No. 1 on Billboard's all-format Radio Songs chart.

Using the Eras Tour to work in tandem with her rerecording release schedule has also become an integral marketing tactic. So much so that coinciding the tour and the releases (as well as the announcements) has helped contribute to her having six albums in the top 20 of the year-end Billboard 200, more No. 1 albums than any woman in history with 13 (as of press time), and 1989 (Taylor's Version) outselling the original — a staggering 1.3 million albums in its first week. 

Swift wrapped her first 2024 Eras Tour leg in Singapore on March 9, as she's now preparing to release her highly anticipated 11th album, The Tortured Poet's Department, on April 19. Three weeks later, the Eras Tour will pick back up in Nanterre, France, on May 9, with dates nearly every week until it wraps in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Dec. 8. 

With an already record-breaking tour and a new album on the way, there's no doubt that the world will continue to feel the impact of Taylor Swift and her pop star prowess — throughout 2024 and beyond.

5 Reasons Why Taylor Swift's Eras Tour Will Be The Most Legendary Of Her Generation